I felt a bit dicky before the assessment interview on Tuesday, but put it down to me being a nervous wimp, unable to cope with the normal stresses and strains of life etc etc.
Yes. For those of you who actually know me, I will leave a little gap here to permit you the opportunity to favour me with a flat-eyed stare and an exasperated sigh, through your nose.
Good. Are we done?
Yes, the same woman who “worked through” Epstein Barr for two years solid on the basis that she thought she was “just failing to step up”, rides again. Apparently you really can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
Shortly after the assessing doctor left, I was unexpectedly sick. I’m never sick. What goes down stays down. And then KAPOW! It was happening every few seconds. And it carried on happening. I was like some sort of MUNICIPAL OUTFLOW. If you’d stuck a few LEDs in the back of my throat, I could have rivalled the Chinese Olympic opening ceremony. At this point it occurred to me that I probably had a legitimate bug of some sort (probably Norovirus, christ knows where from, but it seems to be circulating in this area at the mo).
Gradually, an unfamiliar emotion crept over me. It is hard to describe. It was the sensation of being unequipped for the world and desperately wanting someone to take care of me. Yeah. Me. I wanted someone to take care of me. If being ill wasn’t rubbish enough, this emotion made me go into a flat existential panic.
Clearly that sort of thinking is alien. I can’t remember ever feeling like that before. Looking after me is like trying to look after a wild stoat. First you have to trap it. Then it will have your finger off, nick your lunch, violate your firstborn, and run off. THAT IS WHAT STOATS DO.
I honestly attributed this need to be looked after to some sort of imminent mental collapse. And then I wandered past a mirror and realised that my lips and fingers were deep blue, and the rest of my skin was leaning precipitously towards the “Hindu God” end of the rainbow.
It could be that, then.
Well, there’s nothing you can do with Norovirus. I curled up around my bucket, which at least is a very jolly shade of pink, and waited. The NHS guidelines say you shouldn’t go to your doctor as they can’t help, and it’s highly contagious, so all you’ll achieve is infecting your doctor, and probably other people who are already unwell.
The next day I shuffled up to the corner shoppe on rubber legs and got a big bottle of coke (flat, room temperature coke is an excellent way to rehydrate after gastric catastrophe).
As with all things immune-related, this doesn’t pan (ha) out the same for people with ME/CFS/CFSID as it does for proper people with functional immune systems. Instead of being the 36 hour boke-fest a normal body would have scampered light-heartedly through (I’m joking, it is deeply shit, DO NOT CATCH THIS), this is now on its third day, and while I am no longer Bic-ink-blue and impersonating the fountains at Versailles, that seems to be dependent on my not even thinking about food. Hey ho.
Fortunately I am very fat, so it’s not as if I’m at imminent risk of disappearing entirely.
On a bright note, I have almost certainly infected the fellow who came to assess me on Tuesday. Perhaps I ought to telephone him and suggest he EXPLORE HIS CAPACITY FOR EXERCISE WITH A STOPWATCH between vomming, because we all know how important it is to push that envelope when you’re ill.
 No, this is really what he said I should be doing. No, REALLY.